Ludlow Palmers
helping to conserve the fabric and treasures of St Laurence's
John and Frances Bridgeman

This substantial table tomb is squeezed into the south-east corner of St John's chapel.

Bridgeman, 1568/9-1637/8, and his wife Frances Daunt came from Gloucestershire, and established their home at Prinknash in that county.

He trained as a lawyer, became a member of the Council of the Marches in 1623 and was knighted. His numerous legal roles including acting as Recorder of Gloucester and Chief Justice of Chester, and at Ludlow he deputised for the President of the Council of the Marches.

As the Latin inscription declares, the tomb was erected by his wife; Bridgeman's will entrusted her to create a monument as she thought fit.

Its style is a marked departure from earlier Ludlow tombs. Although it adopts the familiar tradition of two recumbent effigies with lion and the dog at their feet (symbols of valour and loyalty), the carving reflects the Italian-influenced innovations of London tombmakers: the figures have naturalistic features and there are skilfully carved drapery and garlands.

The influence of London work is also seen in the striking use of black and white stone treated to look like marble, instead of painted surfaces.

Several sculptors have been suggested, including the Florentine Francisco Fanelli, but the tomb is most convincingly attributed to the workshop of the tomb maker Samuel Baldwin of Bristol.

Although it is protected by iron railings, it has suffered some mutilation, the hands of the figures having been removed.

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